National Sports Briefs
RALEIGH ó North Carolina State has hired Jeff Dunlap as its director of basketball operations.
Dunlap worked under new Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried at Alabama. Dunlap was an assistant coach at Western Michigan last season. He had also spent four seasons as an assistant at Georgia along with stops at Loyola-Chicago and Cal-State Fullerton among others.
Gottfried previously hired Orlando Early, Bobby Lutz and Rob Moxley as assistant coaches. Gottfried is taking over for Sidney Lowe, who resigned after five seasons.
CLEMSON, S.C. ó Athletic officials at Clemson say the school has extended head men’s basketball coach Brad Brownell’s contract by a year and boosted his salary by 33 percent to more than $1.2 million a year.
Brownell’s contract now runs through the 2016-17 season.
Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips says Clemson was pleased with Brownell’s performance in his first year. The Tigers finished 22-12, going 9-7 in the ACC.
The Tigers won their first game in the NCAA tournament before losing to West Virginia.
VALDOSTA, Ga. ó John Smoltz had a lot tougher time on the golf course than he did on the mound.
The former Atlanta Braves pitcher struggled in his debut on the Nationwide Tour, completing a 12-over 84 Friday that left him in last place after the opening round of the South Georgia Classic.
“Well, I’m disappointed. Like anyone would be,” Smoltz wrote in his blog on www.pgatour.com. “I don’t think I’ve shot 84 in the last five months, or maybe even the last five years.”
AVONDALE, La. ó Bubba Watson shot a 4-under 68 in shifting wind conditions Friday to take a one-stroke lead over Josh Teater after the second round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Watson, the Torrey Pines winner in late January, had a 10-under 134 total at TPC Louisiana.
MOBILE, Ala. ó Sandra Gal birdied five of the final eight holes for a 5-under 67 and a one-stroke lead over Amy Yang in the Avnet LPGA Classic, the tour’s only event in a six-week stretch.
WASHINGTON ó Serena and Venus Williams aren’t ready to tell the world when they will return to the tennis tour.
The sisters, who own a combined 20 Grand Slam singles titles, declined to say Thursday when they will compete next. Both have been sidelined for months. The next major tournament, the French Open, begins May 22.
Venus says they “definitely want to be there.” She says the they are taking things “week by week, evaluating, and the good part is we both get better every week.”
Venus hasn’t played since January because of a hip injury. Serena has been out since July with a series of physical problems.
WASHINGTON ó Sean Bergenheim, Dwayne Roloson and the rest of the Tampa Bay Lightning picked up right where they left off.
Bergenheim scored early, Steve Downie had a goal and an assist, and Steven Stamkos netted the go-ahead goal on a power play, helping the Lightning beat the top-seeded Washington Capitals 4-2 on Friday night.
Roloson, Tampa Bay’s 41-year-old goalie, made 26 saves.
Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was held without a point and limited to two shots. Alexander Semin and Eric Fehr scored for Washington, which led 2-1 before allowing Downie and Stamkos to put Tampa Bay ahead with goals.